On Saturday, I had the wonderful opportunity to help and observe a friend put a couple of batches of soda down. He’s been home brewing beer for quite awhile now and I, correctly, thought that by actually watching him do a batch I could pick up plenty of tips and techniques about brewing. It was quite a good time, and he even sent me home with half of the batches (8 bottles, 4 of each type) to observe, test, and enjoy.
We used the same yeast as I had with the fated Batch 1 a few weeks ago, but increased the amount of yeast used by quite a bit. His reasoning was that the packets are setup for 5 gallon batches, and the 1/8th tsp of yeast isn’t nearly a fifth of the package. It’s a good possibility that may be one of the reasons I was getting such slow carbonation on that batch.
Also, he had ordered a case of plastic bottles with replaceable screw on tops, just like you would get pop out of the cooler at a convenience store. The bottles are brown so it makes it somewhat difficult to really get a good idea of the color of the brews, but seem to be quite good otherwise. I’m not sure how much I like them just because of the long-term wear and tear is likely to make them unusable after only a few batches. Also, if you serve to people who don’t know that you actually paid for them, and are planning on reusing them you stand a good chance on not getting one or 2 back. We’ll see. It certainly makes it easy to figure out the carbonation levels though, as recommended by innumerable references. (More later)